The Australian Guineas on February 29 has found even more depth with Perth star Superstorm set to join the race for the enthralling Group 1 classic.
Expectations for the Guineas rose another notch last Saturday with the first clash of the Queensland gelding Alligator Blood and the Kiwi gelding Catalyst at Flemington.
But just hours after that race, Superstorm was added to the Guineas mix after a soft win in a Listed race at Ascot.
Superstorm's owner and breeder Bob Peters said on Monday that although he is uncertain as to the class of the Sebring gelding, he believed Superstorm was worth an attempt at the Australian Guineas despite the quality of the opposition.
"He’s on the plane tonight," Peters said.
"It’s (Guineas) just a throw at the stumps. We don’t know how good he is. He’s pretty green and just starting to learn.
"I think Flemington will suit him and the mile suits him so those two things are right. It’s just a matter of how much ability he’s got - it’s impossible to know.
"My option was I put him on the plane with the other horse (Regal Power) tonight or I stay at home and run in a 1600-metre Listed race here on the same day."
Flemington hosts the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) on February 29th, picture ThoroughbredNEWS
Superstorm has raced just six times for two wins in much inferior grade to what he will meet in Melbourne but bookmaker BetEasy was taking no chances with the son of Sebring, winding him in from $51 to $15 for the $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) on the back of his performance on Saturday.
Peters said he had no doubt about the competition his horse will face at Flemington.
"There are some very good three-year-olds around and I thought it (C.S. Hayes Stakes won by Alligator Blood) was a great race on Saturday.
"I thought that second horse (Catalyst) he had him 100 metres out, it makes for a great Guineas."
Joining Superstorm on the plane to Melbourne on Monday night is stable mate Regal Power, who runs this Saturday in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield before his ultimate aim, the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) on March 7.
"He’s going very well for us and his sectionals have been good," Peters said.
"He knows what he’s doing."
BetEasy has Regal Power the equal second favourite for the Australian Cup at $11 with Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare and Avilius with Kings Will Dream the current $7 favourite.
Regal Power, who last November won by Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) in Perth, will be ridden by Perth’s leading rider Willie Pike on Saturday with Pike likely to return the following week to partner Superstorm in the Australian Guineas.
Peters said Arcadia Queen, who last spring contested $14m The Everest and $7.5m Golden Eagle, was a while away from racing again after coming through her campaign with a back ailment sustained in the Golden Eagle.
"She got over her hoof problem but she’s got a bit of a back problem that she sustained at Rosehill," he said.
"We’re just working on that now. She’s still in the paddock."